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Stabilizing Your Life and Work Through Values and Strengths

Stabilizing Your Life and Work Through Values and Strengths

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 73
  • Learn the enduring worth of digging into your own values, how this can help you navigate disruptive times, and the role CliftonStrengths can play in this process.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Dean Jones, Gallup's Global Talent Development Architect and Senior Learning Expert, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. Dean discussed the importance of discovering and staying true to your own life values, including:

  • What values are and their usefulness to us
  • How your personal values and your organization's values intersect
  • How investing in the little things in your life can bring stability

The usefulness of values ... is that they help ground us. They help us to be able to deal with the swirl and the noise that are all around us.

Dean Jones, 7:12

When people are clear about their values and their organization's values, and then they've got the language and the understanding that goes with strengths, then it gets easier to be able to say, "How do I contribute to that?"

Dean Jones, 37:44

I encourage people to really invest in the things that are "stabilizers." ... What are the simple things you do that ... ground you and help you to be able to make sure that you're stable, you're ... rock-solid?

Dean Jones, 42:51

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world -- or at least here in the Midwest -- this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on October 23, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:21

Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room and -- just right, right below there, over on the side. Love to have you log in and get your questions live. If you're listening after the fact and you have some questions, you can send us an email: Don't forget, if you're on YouTube there, Subscribe and Like. That's always helpful to us as well. And if you want to listen to us as a podcast, put in "Gallup Webcasts" in any podcast player. Dean Jones is our host today. Dean's the Global Talent Development Architect, and a Senior Learning Expert for Gallup, as well as the chair of Gallup's Diversity Council. Dean, that sounds like a big deal. Welcome back to Called to Coach!

Dean Jones 1:07

Thank you. Great to be here.

Jim Collison 1:09

Good to have you. We, of course, are in the midst of kind of a 2020 Learning Series and felt like it'd be a good opportunity to come back around. This shows up in our Facebook, LinkedIn community from time to time, but this idea of values and strengths and how they fit together, and, and I think you got a dynamite outline for us. What do you have for us today?

Dean Jones 1:28

Yeah, no, it's great, Jim. This is a topic I think is a cool -- topic. It's actually one I've wanted to do here for a while. I recently just did some work around values with one of our internal teams here at Gallup. And so they were interested in doing a strengths session, I wanted to kind of put a different kind of spin on it, you know, because this is a group of folks that are really -- had a lot of facility with strengths. So we kind of went in the, we kind of went in the "values door" to strengths. And I think that's one of the cool things about this work is, is it gives you a different angle as you start to think about strengths.

Dean Jones 2:07

So I thought, I thought today, one of the things we'd do is we'd just talk about, a little bit about values, what are values? I know that, that many of you, some of you do values work with your clients now. So you, you could easily be leading this Called to Coach, but I will share the values work that I have been exposed to and that I've done with, with folks. And I think the, the cool part about it is is the connection point then with strengths. So how do you, how do you make that connection point with strengths and, and how do, how do values, then, impact or color your strengths, and vice versa? So I think that's super useful.

Jim Collison 2:43

Let's get started with that kind of that basic definition. What are values?

Dean Jones 2:47

Yeah. So yeah, I think for, for people, you know, it's, it's values are sort of a funny thing. Because, you know, when you talk to people about values, everybody would say, "Oh, yeah, yeah, I have values." And, and in many cases, people will say, you know, when you ask them sort of in passing, "Yeah, of course, I know. I have certain values; I know that there's things are important to me, like that. But not everybody I notice has really done, has really drilled into what actually their values are, right?

Dean Jones 3:14

If you look at the dictionary definition of what a, what values are, the dictionary says values are one's, one's judgment of what's important in life. And so it's really those things that are really core to kind of who you are. And I will tell you, I think that as you start to kind of dig into values, values really are those things that are eternal. Those are -- they're things that don't live in time and space, those things that are kind of eternal.

Dean Jones 3:44

So, you know, like, for instance, one of the values I have is generosity. Loyalty is another big value of mine. Growth is actually a value of mine. So as I've, as I've defined. You'll notice that those aren't things, right, that they kind of, they're kind of like concepts. They don't, they don't live in time and space. Sometimes when you, sometimes when you talk to people about values, their immediate reactions, they say, "Well, you know, one of my values is my family," right? Or, or "I value my faith." And for a lot of people, I think, it's not, it's, it's not that those things are not important. In fact, those things are, generally speaking, you know, for a lot of people, those are really central to who they are and what they value in life.

Dean Jones 4:26

But it's, it's the things that are underneath those, those, those, those things that are underneath those things that are important, that are really those core values. You know, they, you know, when you say, "Gosh, I value my family" or "I value my kids," right? Like, why is that? What is it about fam -- that, that, that -- what is the thing that's so central to who you are, right, that you value?

Dean Jones 4:50

One of the things I think is so powerful as you start to think really about values is because they don't live in time and space, they're typically things that came before us and will come after us. You know, you take, you think about that value of loyalty, right? Dean Jones did not invent that value, you know. That, that, that was that, that, that notion of loyalty was in existence for hundreds of years, thousands of years prior to Dean Jones on the scene, right? It will live way beyond my lifetime. And yet at the same time, I can, when I'm in touch with my values, when I know my values, when I'm living consistent with my values, I can be an expression of that value in the world.

Dean Jones 5:30

And I think that's the real power of values is, I have the opportunity to really be an expression of that value in the world, right. We have the opportunity, and when you, from knowing your values, you have the opportunity really to be used by them. And so you become the expression of that, so that there's an element of understanding your values and knowing your values, where I think people kind of touch the eternal, you know, and so it's this opportunity to get connected into that which is transcendent. And I think that's part of the real power of values where people experience it.

Dean Jones 6:04

One of the things that, and I guess "Why now?" is, I think that we're in a time when people are, everything's been disrupted. So I think it's a good time to have a conversation about values. Because I think that, during this time, when -- helping people, our normal kind of patterns or the way we live has been disrupted. So it's a time to get reconnected with our values. When we know our values and we're living consistent with our values, we have this kind of natural sense of alignment or integrity. When we're not operating consistent with our values, there's this, there's this feeling like we're out of sorts, right? I also think, by the way, that's a good indicator, Hey, look, I'm, that's a, that, you know, like I always pay attention to that, that feeling when I'm sort of feeling out of sorts, or feeling hollow or unfulfilled or dislocated, that, that it's an opportunity for me to say, Hey, what are my, you know, I need to drill into what is this, and where am I operating out of sync with my values?

Dean Jones 7:10

But the, the, the usefulness of values, or the value of values, is that they help ground us. They help us to be able to deal with the swirl and the noise that are all around us. And I think during this time, this is really a time when people need that; they need to get grounded. I was reading this morning about people, you know, some of the things people have been dealing with throughout the pandemic -- people -- job loss and huge financial issues and childcare issues. And dealing with sickness and mental health is a huge thing. And so, you know, in the midst of all that, I think getting connected, that really helps us to feel more grounded, helps us to feel like we -- we're more in control and helps us to make the right kind of decisions. So --

Jim Collison 7:55

Dean, can, can values be situational? I mean, can they change and flow with us, just kind of based on what's happening around us? Whether it's in a pandemic or different times of our lives, maybe they become more important and less important? Can you talk a little bit about that?

Dean Jones 8:10

Yeah, no, I think that's great. I, and I think it kind of comes to the heading of How do you discover your values or how do you get connected to your values, right? Because I think for a lot of people, it's like, well, you know, like -- it's interesting, I was doing work with this group at Gallup and super bright, talented group. And it was really interesting, like, we started doing the work. And the more we were doing the work around it and they were discovering their values, you could see kind of light bulbs going on, right? Like it was like, "Oh, yeah, I always wondered kind of why I was wired that way. And this -- all of a sudden, it kind of, it goes "clunk"; it makes sense for me. Right?

Dean Jones 8:43

I think that -- I'll give you my perspective on it. Right? I think values are kind of squishy. Right? So, you know, sometimes, you know, sometimes I deal with people that are super analytical, and they're like, God, that seems just too -- way too squishy for me, right? And it's more I would say, art than science. But, and it's the kind of thing where you always get a say. You know, you, so at the end of the day, you get to say what your values are, right? You're the, you're the umpire on this one. I think with strengths, particularly if you've been around strengths, you know, you look at that strengths report and it's like, Man, that is a validated assessment that tells me what my talent is, right?

Dean Jones 9:18

With values, it's more about you get to say when it lands. And I, I would tell you that I think people are, all the time in life, discovering and kind of uncovering values to them for themselves, right. So it's one of those things as you go through life, just like you under -- uncover expressions of your strengths, expressions of your talent in life. I think people as they go through life and are confronted with different situations, there's opportunities to be able to really discover and reveal what my values are. And really what is the expression of my values during this time.

Dean Jones 9:52

I, I think for people, that, that exercise of kind of staying put for a minute and thinking about what your values are is a really important one. And values tend to be -- I will tell you, I, I in just in working with people around this, that the piece that tends to be a trigger for people or, or an indicator for people is, there's, there is sort of a feeling state around it. You know, if values are something where it's kind of like, you know, you know, the old expression, "I know when I'll see it," I think with values, it's more, "I know it when I'll feel it." Right. I, you know, when I can see that.

Dean Jones 10:33

Typically, when I'm working with folks around values -- and I share this because I know a lot of the coaches do values work, so this is kind of the approach I use -- I ask people to start with something that's important to them. And oftentimes, I'll ask people to just kind of make a list of, of what's important to you prior to actually us being together and talking. Because I think that's a great place to start is to say, Hey, just make a list of what's really important to you in life. Right.

Dean Jones 11:00

And, and I, the thing that I always use, and I, honestly, I got this, I have a really good friend who lives in California, who, as a consultant, and for years did a ton of work with leaders and executives around the world around values -- he called it his "core values work." And, but I use the root cause analysis, right, to be able to help people with it, sometimes called "5 Why Analysis." And "Why" -- not the letter "Y" but 5 W-H-Y, 5 Why Analysis. Anybody who's done this in consulting, this is just simple root cause analysis, where you look at something, and you say, "Hey, why is it this way? Or why is this important?" And that leads you to the next thing. The idea or the notion is you can ask that question 5 times, and you get to something solid, you get to the root cause of it, right?

Dean Jones 11:50

The simple, I think with values, it's the same thing. If you start with something that's important to you, and you ask yourself, "Well, why is that important to me?" And then you look at that next thing and say, "Well, why is that important?" As you start to drill down, sooner or later -- and sometimes it doesn't take 5 questions; sometimes it's fewer -- that you get to something you realize that is not a -- that doesn't live in time and space; it's really something transcendent that that's important to you, you know.

Dean Jones 12:17

I mean, for me, one of the key things -- it sounds so funny, but just a really simple thing is I realized that for myself that stewardship, you know, that notion of taking care of things, that, that stewardship is one of my values. And I see that expressed in so many different areas of my life. And one day, I was kind of struck by a light, like, why is that so important for me to take care of things? Right? And I realized one of my core values was this notion of stewardship. And being a good steward of the things that I, I encountered, and sometimes that's with friends; sometimes that's what things. You know, it's, but I could see that that was one of the core things as I started to drill down, I could see, Wow, that is one of the things that I can see that value expressed in so many areas of my life. Right.

Jim Collison 13:03

Dean, Dean, for some people, this comes easy. For me, it doesn't. Let me just admit that here for a second. Whenever we do these "value exercises," so to speak, I have to kind of, I have to unpeel the onion, right? I got to kind of get down into layer after layer after layer -- not a reflection on, it's not that I don't have values; I just kind of need to, I kind of need to peel them back. I need to work through some things to get it done. Laura had asked in the chat room as well, and maybe you can blend this together before we start thinking about values and strengths. But we've got these Values Cards. And as we think about this idea of helping discover, you gave one tool. We have this tool in the Values Cards, no magic in that. But as we think about now doing this virtually, any tips on that, as having coaches help go through this process virtually? Yeah.

Dean Jones 13:52

I think here, and it sounds funny, Jim. I think sometimes, for people, they can look at one of those Values Cards so the -- for people that aren't familiar with them, those Values Cards that are a deck of cards that that we that are included in some of the coaching tool sets that we have, right. You can also purchase them on our, on our store, but they're designed to -- they're just examples of values, essentially. Right. And I will tell you, I've had the, I've had kind of different experiences. I know that for some people, they can just look at that and go, "God, that is me." Right, that -- I know that value is me. That's important. I am anchored in that. I know for other people, and for a lot of people, it's more than it's the experience that you expressed, Jim, which is "Hey, it, God, it -- I know there's something there; I'm not sure exactly what it is."

Dean Jones 14:41

And the thing that I always encourage people to do in that kind of situations is to be able to work with somebody. Right? I think it's really useful for people -- sometimes I find that people get a little heady about it. So here are some tips around it is I think people get really significant really fast. It gets real heavy, right? And it's like, "My values, these are important. And I have to get it right or I'm going to -- if I don't screw it up." And I think sometimes it's really starting with something that's important but insignificant, right? You know, like I, you know, "I love drinking wine," you know, or "I love reading books," or "I love a good cigar," right. And so whatever those things are, right, for you, that you, you start with something, "Gosh, you know, that's really important to me," and then start to kind of drill into it.

Dean Jones 15:28

The thing that's interesting about this, I will tell you, is it's kind of like all, all roads lead to Rome. You know what I mean? You, like, you're only going to go get, you're only going to get closer to your values, right? So you really can't screw this up at all. You know what I mean? It may be a, it may be an expressway, it may be a winding road, but you're only going to get closer to your values. Right? So that's, so you can't you can't screw it up. Right?

Dean Jones 15:54

And part of it is, is too, is the is the closer you get, the more the more you start to see stuff. It's like, "Oh, yeah." I always find that the experience for a lot of people as they start to uncover their values is they start to see their values expressed in different areas of their life, right? It's like, "Oh, yeah, I see that expressed over here and in this relationship, and that's why I'm super interested over here." You start to see those values expressed in a bunch of different ways. The other experience that I think people have when they start out is they feel like, Well, you know, like, they look at that Values Card deck. And they go, "Yes, all of these!" "Yes, I'll take -- can, can I take two, please?"

Jim Collison 16:34

All of them for $400, Alex [Trebek]!

Dean Jones 16:36

Yes, right, exactly. And, and it's really not that way. You know, one of the things you really find is, as you get, as you as you drill into it is, there really are just a finite number of things that are kind of core values for you that you see expressed all over your life. So it's not like, sometimes I think people in the beginning think, "Oh, my gosh, there's, like, it's going to be an infinite list." And what I find, it's kind of like strengths in a way, right, where there's a core set of values that you really find for yourself that are really useful and meaningful, and you find expressed in a lot of places in your life, you know. And, and over and over again, it's that, that's really what it is about for you. And so that's where you really see it.

Jim Collison 17:16

Technologies, speaking of technology, they're throwing out, Holly had kind of mentioned, you know, using a Trello Board, right? I, you could have a shared document, a shared Google document that had these lists that allow them to add and remove. You could do that in real time with them, add notes, be able to do that, talk through some things. I think you could have a PowerPoint where you can roll through those, those value ideas to get people thinking. I think some of the key is that is know your audience. So how do they -- after you've been coaching them a while, whatever, how would they respond to that? How do they want to interact with that?

Jim Collison 17:47

For me, I always found it frustrating to have all the cards in front of me at the same time -- Arranger [No.] 1, right. So all of a sudden, now I want to start synthesizing all of them together, as opposed to a more guided conversation where we kind of roll through them at maybe a few at a time and have some discussion so I don't get distracted by the others. I think that's a conversation of knowing your audience, and then knowing how to convert that using one of the tools, virtually, like this to be able to, you know, be to be able to get that done. Would you, Dean, would you add anything else to that as we think about the virtual before we move on to strengths and values together?

Dean Jones 18:21

Yeah, I think here's the thing around that. I will tell you, I think the Values Cards are useful for teaching in the concept of values. Right. And I think that's, that's super useful for starting to, to help people with that. I think in terms of people discovering and identifying their values, some people can look at that deck of cards and say, "This is it. And I see this expressed everywhere." I will tell you, for most people, typically what I tend to do is to put -- and this is where I think breakout sessions on Zoom are super helpful -- I would put people in, and I like to do it in groups of 3, right? Rather than just in groups of 2, I like to do it in groups of 3, where you got one person asking the question: "OK, tell me something that's important to you. Let's start, where do you want to start?" Right? And then just ask them the question, "Well, why is that important to you?" Right?

Dean Jones 19:07

And, and, and the other person is answering the question, and you got to have somebody who's willing to, you know, you got to have a, this -- we all, we haven't talked about this, but you got to have a environment where that people feel comfortable being authentic, so that you've created some psychological safety around that. Right. And, but, and then you got a third person who's just observing. And it's an interesting thing, but, you know, like, oftentimes when you do that, you got the, the observer will say, "Well, wait, what was that thing right there?" Right? "You had that expression on your face," right? Like, "What was that thing?" Right? I think, you know, having, having 3 people there, I think, helps to -- it's like your barometer, to say, Hey, you know, like, what is the, you know, the metal detector on the beach, right, where all of a sudden the beeping gets louder and louder, right? It's like, Hey, we're getting close to something here.

Dean Jones 19:55

And I think, I think that experience is really, really good. Gosh, I would just, for everybody who's a coach who's on this, I would 100%, you know, it doesn't cost you anything that you don't, you know, you don't, doesn't require any technology or any equipment, just get on, get on the phone or get on Zoom with somebody. Go through this experience for yourself. Right? Because I think then it, as you start, as you -- nothing replaces you. You can understand this conceptually, right, but it doesn't replace the actual experience of working with, with your, having somebody work with you, or you working with somebody, and going through this process. And I think that's important and really powerful. Right?

Jim Collison 20:32

Let's transition a little bit now, bring strengths in. So as we put these two together -- values, strengths -- how do you see those fitting together?

Dean Jones 20:39

Yeah, I think it's really good, I think, for us, so a lot of times, you know, we know, and kind of strengths 101 is, is that your strengths, you know, your strengths are given by your talents. And your talents are really innate, right. So as your identity forms in your late teens, you know, what starts to happen is your talents, your -- those talents kind of gel, right? And those become the raw material for the strengths that we can develop in life. And we know also that those talents are a filter through which we see the world.

Dean Jones 21:10

So, in fact, and we did, I think, Jim, a really good podcast early on, I think, about how strengths shape the way you see the world. If you haven't listened to that, I think that's a good one to go back and listen to. But, you know, strengths really, our talents really are a lens on how we see the world. They're a filter in how we see the world. And I think that what you start to see then as you start to understand, what are somebody's strengths, and then what are their values next to them, you can see how that, how their talent themes have, have filtered, the world, have shaped their view of the world. And as a result, you can see how their values are then expressed by that, right.

Dean Jones 21:53

And the more you know strengths, the more it gives you clues and an understanding of their values. And the more you know somebody's values, it brings dimension, I think, to people's strengths. So they're highly complementary. It's -- there's no accident that, that, that oftentimes strengths coaches and strengths leaders and, and educators are using values and strengths in tandem. I think the only the only downside right now is that you see it typically more in faith-based communities or faith-based organizations that they do a lot of that work, and you don't see it -- sometimes you see it in education, actually, as well -- but you don't see it as much inside organizations. And I think it's a it's a super useful tool for me, or for people, to be able to see how they're, once you understand strengths and values together, it gives you access to a lot around team collaboration, to navigate in conflict. I think there's just a lot of doors it starts to open. Right?

Dean Jones 22:53

So, you know, I look at myself, you know, some of the things that as I look, you know, one of the, as I said a minute ago, you know, I'm Activator No. 1, and growth is like one of my core values, right? And so when I look at this together, when I look at this together, it's like, Oh, yeah. And I notice that part of my lens that I look through the world on is progress. I look at, is, are things moving? Are they growing? Are they moving forward? That's a big lens for me. I -- Responsibility's my No. 7, right, and loyalty is a huge, huge value for me. I got a big, a big, you know, you look at my life, like loyalty is such a, such an important thing, right. And so, and you can see the kind of relationship there.

Dean Jones 23:35

I have Woo and Relator in my Top 5. And love is one of my core values, right? And so you can just see that expression there. So it's, the more you can kind of mix and match, you can kind of see those values expressed there. It, again, it kind of gives dim -- gives dimension, right, to it.

Dean Jones 23:53

The other thing -- and we've talked about this before -- is we know that strengths tends to have that kind of duality, right? I like to talk about how strengths look from the outside in, and how they look from the inside out. Because we know that, you know, like, you look at somebody with high Achiever, right? And it's like, Oh, man, that person works so hard. And they're accomplishing so much. They're checking things off the list. Unbelievable, right? From the inside out, what Achiever looks like, is, there's so much to do! I got to get it all on my list and I want to work as hard as I can to get through that list. Right? It doesn't, it's, you know, like Achiever from the outside in looks like accomplishing, accomplishing, accomplishing. From, from, from the inside out, it's like, God, there's so much to do, there's -- I need more accomplishment! It's like the, the dearth of accomplishment, where accomplishment is missing, versus that experience of, Oh, there's so much accomplishment around me, right?

Dean Jones 24:52

You know, and, you know, it's the same thing with like, something like Competition, right? Look at -- from the outside in, you look at somebody who's competitive or who leaves with a lot of Competition, and it's like, well, that person is oriented around winning, and they're just winning. You know, the, you talk to somebody who's highly competitive, and they're living in that precarious balance of, Am I winning or not? You know what I mean? It's like, Oh, my gosh, I'm, I -- am I winning? I'm worried I'm not gonna win! Right?

Jim Collison 25:21

Yeah, that fear, that internal fear, right, of not accomplishing enough? I think we, we all struggle with that and then filtered through values, it's like, this is a value of mine. But it's not happening enough. Or, or even maybe a public perception of it -- is it happening and enough for the approval of the public to say it's happening enough? Right? We struggle with that.

Dean Jones 25:42

That's right. That's right. You look at somebody who's high Deliberative, right, and what you see is somebody who's cautious, who's, who's, who's looking at, scanning the environment, looking where there could be trouble spots. What you see from the inside out is somebody who is worried about carelessness, right? They are concerned about carelessness, right? Is there, are we, are we being careless here? Are we not addressing this stuff?

Dean Jones 26:07

So there's that, there's that, there's that connection there that I think is, is super useful. And I, and I think one is on an individual level. That's why I think for strengths coaches -- particularly as you do the work on yourself first before you do it with others, right -- as you start to really drill down, identify your core values, then kind of do that mix and match with your Top 5 or your Top 10, right, and you can really see it, right? You can really see that connection there, what's important to you and like that. Then you start to be able to see it in other people. And you can also see how it then starts to shape teams. So you see it on a, in a workgroup or a team relationship, you start to see how strengths and values starts to shape the nature of a team. So that as you, like, as you do this work with teams, like particularly if there's teams you're working with over time, where they've done strengths, you can do some values work with them, and then you can start to see, it starts to give you all the texture of the team. Right. And I think that's what's really kind of interesting and powerful.

Jim Collison 27:09

Dean, Maika and I, on Theme Thursday, spend a lot of time talking about moving from the "me" to "we," right. So ultimately, the power of this is when we begin to understand it in the context of relationships. So can you talk a little bit about values and relationships? Because, you know, I admit it, I struggle a little bit to get those values out of me. It's even more difficult, then, to get, as I'm thinking about how they're relating to other teams or other people or other relationships that I have. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Dean Jones 27:39

Yeah, absolutely. One of the things, I think, is use -- this is one of the areas that I think values are useful, right? You know, it's one of the things I think is funny with all this work, right? It's like you talk to somebody about values -- and I was this way, right? -- you talk to somebody about values, and the immediate question is kind of like, "What's it good for? How do you use that? What's it good for," right? And for those of us who love growth and development, right, personal development, professional development, it's like, "Well, you're learning! You're discovering! You're enhancing your self-awareness! Isn't that enough?" Right? But there's a lot of people it's like, OK, how am I gonna actually use this? Right?

Jim Collison 28:15

Yeah, you're like, How can I take advantage of this? Like, can I can I maximize it, right?

Dean Jones 28:19

You know, like, for a lot of people, "How do I make money off this?" I think it's, it's interesting, I will tell you, you know, as I was thinking, I was thinking about our session today. And I was thinking about people that I know, that I'm friends with, or that we've, that we know, in the strengths coach community, you know, like, you take somebody like Alexsys Thompson, right, who has built her whole coaching practice and the work that she does around gratitude. Right. And, you know, and so, and that's really been the anchor for all the work that -- she's really anchored her whole coaching practice in, in one value. And, which is, and she's making a difference and impacting people in so many ways.

Dean Jones 28:59

I have a friend, she and her husband on the on the West Coast, started a, like, they were really committed to gratitude, really interested in gratitude. Started a chain of restaurants around that whole concept, right, and, that were focused on gratitude, and is very, very successful, and has touched so many people's lives. So part, part of this anchor, I think, you know, and to think about sort of the usefulness of this, right? You can really anchor this in, anchor your values and the expression of your values in ways that are highly impactful.

Dean Jones 29:34

One, to your point, right, I think one of the places that values are very useful in organizations is in navigating conflict. And anybody who's done ongoing work in organizations, whether you're an embedded coach or you're an independent coach inside of an organization or you lead HR or OD, you know that part of, just part and parcel of the work that you do is navigating conflict, right, navigating people with that don't have shared goals, people that are at odds about approaches or process. You know, it's just, it's just, you start to see this. And I think values are a great way to navigate this. When you start to help the people in the teams involved be able to understand what their values are, and then you also know the strengths and talents that they have on the team, this helps you to be able to navigate that kind of conflict, to be able to communicate in a way that creates a lot of dimension around it. Right?

Jim Collison 30:30

Can you give some examples of that?

Dean Jones 30:31

Yeah, I think it's, it's, as you start to, as you start to work with people around it, I always think -- one is is you want to have the background of having done strengths work with and have people think about what their values are around that. Right. And I think it's very, very simple stuff. I think it's asking people, you know, what's, what's important to you? What's important to you? Right? What, what was important to that person? Right? Or to that group? What, what value does that suggest to you? Right? And then what's important to you? What, what are your -- what values are you expressing? Just being able to identify the values on both sides, you know, sometimes you see conflicts in organizations where one thought, one side is, is concerned about action and agility and progress; another side is worried about wasting resources or, or making a mistake, and you see that conflict over and over again.

Dean Jones 31:24

And then understanding then each other's -- I think the, the way to think about it is, is start by really looking at what, what, on both sides of this, what values are being expressed, right? What are the values being expressed? And then as you start to see that, I think you can use strengths then to be able to navigate, to, to broker the solution to the conflict, right? So when there's communication around, "Well, I value this; this is why this is important to us, or why this is important to me." And, and understanding why there's value -- sometimes that alone doesn't resolve anything. I mean, sometimes you get that communication, and you start to see, OK, the communication helps, right, it alleviates some of the tension. And so you've got an understanding.

Dean Jones 32:08

But I think strengths then helps broker the solution. Because then you can start to look at somebody's strengths and be able to say How are, how are, you know, if you and I had a conflict, Jim, is to be able to say, How do your talents and strengths, what can you contribute to our way forward? What do I contribute to our way forward? I think also the, the, the unique, the unique value of strengths is it gives us a shared language, to be able to talk about those contributions and to work through those contributions. So it -- strengths gives us a shared language; it gives us shared insights and -- that help us to be able to find common ground there.

Jim Collison 32:48

Might that conversation, Dean, be one where values and strengths -- or at least labels, these theme names, share the conversation? In other words, I might say, you know, to me, I value stability. And, and for me, that may be a Maximizer, you know, and, and to have that -- I'm just making that up. But, and I do, I do value stability. But there, there's the -- in those conversations, may that be a, could it, can it, can they both be in the, and should they both be in the conversation as we're talking about this?

Dean Jones 33:21

When you say, "they both," you mean both strengths and values?

Jim Collison 33:23

Both labels. Yeah, both strengths and values. I mean, can you mix it up together?

Dean Jones 33:27

Yeah. And I think it's what, again, what you start to see is with, when you're dealing with folks that are that have had a background in both, right? When they, when they've done enough strengths work that they have that shared vocabulary of strengths, right. And they can say, you know, like, "This is the lens I see the world through; this is my talents, and this is what I contribute." And at the same time, "These are the things that I value. This is the expression." And particularly when you look at it inside of a particular situation, Jim. You know, when you're looking at, hey, you know, like, when the conflict arises, it's not about, "This is who I'm in the world." It's more about, "This is who I am in this situation," right? "This is why this is important to me; this is the expression for me."

Dean Jones 34:08

And where you start to see in sharp focus the conflict and the conflict of values there, right. And it gets underneath some of the, some of the tactics and some of the actions that live on the surface down to, "Here's how I think we should approach this. Here's how you think that we we should approach this," right? But then looking at it through the lens of strengths helps us to be able to think about it in a way that where we've got shared language and, and we're looking at our respective contributions. Does that help?

Jim Collison 34:38

Yeah, I think so. I kind of see it like the soap in the, in the context of it breaks down the surface tension and allows really, like, for things to kind of be pulled apart and to work through it. And then Dan asks an interesting question in the chat. He says, How about strengths and corporate values? Dean, are corporate values and personal values the same thing? And then, is it more of an exercise of aiming your strengths to bring the corporate values to life? Can you just address that?

Dean Jones 35:06

Yeah, I love that question. That's, that's great. I think, you know, part of where I think people get drawn to organizations, you know, we, years ago, Gallup, we said, you know, people join companies and leave managers, right. And we tend to, we tend to say that in the context of the value of management and the impact of bad management, right. So we focus on the latter part of that statement, not the, not the first part, right. And the -- why people join companies, I think, is because they get drawn by the mission and purpose. And our generational research, which would say, Hey, that's one of the ways that the workforce has actually changed over the last decade, is that, that mission and purpose is more important to the workforce now than it was even 10 years ago. Right?

Dean Jones 35:51

So I think what happens for people is they, they, as they look at an organization and its mission and purpose and its impact, they say, Hey, that's an organiza -- I'm drawn to that. And I think for many people, they see an expression of the organization's values there, right, and that ties to their own personal values. They, they are different, to answer your question, Jim. So I may have my personal values; the organization has a set of values. And I think, you know, the sometimes people get real hung up on, Has the organization done a lot of values work? Or is there, you know, a set of 5 values that are etched in steel in the lobby or something, right. And it, and it's, it's less about that and more What are the values that, that are an expression of this -- of the culture of that organization, right.

Dean Jones 36:41

But I think that's where you see people having alignment with an organization, where they say, Gosh, I love working in this organization because the values of this organization and the values of the culture here align with my personal values and my expression. And the more that people find that alignment, I think the more they feel, the more it feels like there's great fit and it feels like there's an expression for them of working in that organization.

Dean Jones 37:08

We, in our engagement assessment, as you know, one of the things we look at is we ask people, Does the mission and purpose of this organization make you feel that your job is important? And we know, the more that there's that natural alignment, the more that people likely to be engaged, and therefore, the more likely that they're gonna, that their work is going to have an impact. And that's a really important piece. I think that -- I wanted to go answer one more aspect of that question. Could you put that question up again, Jim?

Jim Collison 37:36

Yeah, let me, let me go back. So --

Dean Jones 37:37

Yeah, oh, yeah. I think the, the piece about strength is, then, I think, when people are clear about their values and their organization's values, and then they've got the language and the understanding that goes with strengths, then it gets easier to be able to say, "How do I contribute to that? How do I become an expression of that?" Right. The, the thing I don't think we want to lose sight of that's unique about strengths, and I would say is probably one of the most underestimated values or impact of strengths, or the, the thing that where, where CliftonStrengths really makes a difference, for people and for organizations, is that it gives people a shared language. It gives people that kind of shared language to be able to express who they are and what their contribution is. And that is not to be underestimated.

Jim Collison 38:28

Dean, why is it important now? You know, this, this conversation, why is it important that we talk about this now?

Dean Jones 38:34

Yeah, I think it's the thing I said earlier, I think, today, is we are in a time of incredible disruption. And I think, you know, you look at it, and I think back in March, you know, people were like, Hey, I'm -- we're gonna get this wrapped up by May, you know, and, and this will have been, you know, a few months of where we were derailed, but then we're back on track. And I think, gosh, I am now, it's, it's interesting -- I read an article this morning about how companies are extending the timeline for returning people to the office. I know that, literally, I just -- it was the first time I'd read an article that somebody said, "Hey, it'll be 2022 before everything seems like it's sort of 'back to normal.'" Right.

Dean Jones 39:21

So I think that, that even though we, we thought this was, there was sort of a narrow timeline on this, we are living through an incredible time of disruption and uncertainty. And I think as a result of that, people are dislocated. Right. They don't, you know, and they, it's not the same as it was, and, and it's difficult, it's difficult for people, and people are juggling a ton. And so, you know, if you are juggling kids and work juggling relatives who may be ill or may have passed away, dealing with a lot of financial impact and uncertainty, uncertainty around jobs. So, I mean, there's a lot going on in the environment right now for people.

Dean Jones 40:05

And I think that the, the usefulness of values right now is it helps to be able to anchor people in what is important. People, part of that disruption is that for many people, they had their lives sort of organized around a particular expression. And when that gets completely disrupted, it can be -- it's upsetting for people. And that when you start to get clear about your values again, you get anchored in your values, it gives you something to hold on. All of a sudden, you're standing on bedrock again. I think that one -- part of what's happening for people is they're trying, as they get anchored in that, is they're trying to figure out new ways to express their values, new ways to express what's important to them, given the time, given the changes that have happened, given this disruption. And being clear and conscious and aware of your values and also, again, being clear with, clear about your strengths and the contribution that you are at the same time helps you to be able to do that.

Dean Jones 41:08

So I think this is a, this is an important time for people to be able to do that. I also know, kind of on the other side of it, for a lot of people this time, just taking a step back, has had people reassess. I'm one of those people where, you know, during this time, I started, I realized there were things I was doing next, next, next, right, I was sort of in this pattern of what's next, what's next, what's next? It had me step back and reassess, Is this really the right thing for me? And what's the right expression for me? What's the right expression for who I am and my values and the contribution I want to make in the world, the impact that I want to have?

Dean Jones 41:45

And so I, some of the things I encourage people to do, and we talked about this a little bit on a prior session, but I think this is a good time to take a deep breath, you know, to just kind of, kind of step back. And I think there's, it's, it's a time when you want to step back and this is the kind of work to be doing at this time is to be looking at your life, thinking about your values, thinking about, given the environment, what's the right expression of your values?

Dean Jones 42:16

I also think it's an important time for people to create space for themselves. And, you know, where it's a time where you want to give yourself a little more permission. I think that's, I think that's important during this time that, that people have a little space or a little permission. You have to sort of be willing to give up your picture of how you think things should be. Because, you know, trying to force that just creates a lot of stress and unhappiness for people. It's also time when I, I -- this is a, this is a term I sort of coined, but I encourage people to really invest in the things that are "stabilizers." You know how like a helicopter has stabilizers, right? Keeps things stable. I think that for every person, there's stuff that are stabilizers for them, things that, you know, like for me, one of those is having my checkbook balanced, right? What are the simple things you do that create, that ground you and help you to be able to make sure that you're, you're, you're stable, you're on, you're on rock-solid, right?

Dean Jones 43:20

And I think it's also a time that, that for people, that they should be thinking about, What are the ways that they need to be patient and sort of anchor themselves? So I think all those things are useful things around it. I really am -- why I think this is a good topic for now, is because I think there's an opportunity for people to be able to identify their values and get clear about their values, and to add that as a dimension to their strengths and how they express themselves, and how they think about the impact and the contribution they want to have on the people around them, on their organization, on the world. So I think it's a, it's a, it's, again, another useful tool for helping people to to have greater self-awareness and, and greater impact.

Jim Collison 44:07

You know, as you're talking about these things, I was kind of thinking back to March, which was like 1980. And kind of, like, it doesn't feel like it was a long time ago. And kind of thinking through, this is an area I haven't necessarily struggled in through the pandemic. I felt like almost I was struggling or I was prepping for this in all the work that we do -- the media work that we do -- I've been prepping the last couple years for this, not knowing it would come. And of course, when it did come, my values and what I do and the work I do aligned perfectly with what needed to happen.

Jim Collison 44:39

And so I was able to jump on the train and go a million miles an hour and have never been more, for me, never been more engaged in the work that I'm doing. And I could -- we were doing incredible amounts of work in that, and it was maybe one of those situations where values, opportunity and strengths all lined up perfectly, but that has not been the experience for a lot of people. And so when we think, when we think, for those who are really struggling and those who are really fighting this, Dean, and, do we just say, "You need to lean into it"? -- or, which I think is, is maybe not the right thing to say? What kind of advice, for folks struggling right now, coming at it from a values perspective, and the things that we said, some advice to those folks who are really struggling right now during this time?

Dean Jones 45:24

Yeah, I would say, Yeah, gosh, I don't -- so one is, I, let me, let me, let me start this way. I think it's presumptuous of me to be able to say, Look, I'm going to tell you something in, in, in a podcast that's gonna, that's gonna change your life. Right? I mean, like, hopefully it'll contribute to the quality of your life. And, and I think at Gallup, we've got a lot of thinking and research that does have a huge impact on people's lives. But I also don't want to be so presumptuous just to say that, flippantly, that I can solve people's problems, right?

Dean Jones 46:02

I do think that, I do think that doing this kind of values work with other people really makes a difference. I think that this is a time that we should not be going it alone. I've said this before. I think this is a time when you want to get connected to people. One of the interesting things -- I was talking with, with a gentleman who's one of our leaders at Gallup, and he said to me, you know, you know, Can you imagine if we had to go through this time without technology? Can you imagine if we didn't have technology? I think right now, in the news, there's so much about the evils of social media and there's, you know, and like the downside of technology, but holy cow, I mean, if we were going to go through this time, the fact that we're going through this time and there's, with the technology that we've got, is just unbelievable.

Dean Jones 46:50

And I think there's, that being able to connect with people in ways, then, that we've never really been able to connect with people, I think, is incredible. I also think that there's a more, more -- it's interesting, we've seen this in the demand for our podcasts or the demand for our briefings, that I think people are more up for getting connected than they've ever been as well. And so I think one of the, one of the key things, I think, is for people to be connected, and to stay connected. I think that -- and particularly in this community of people who are strengths coaches. I think this is a good community, because you got a lot of people who are willing to share their experience and are service-oriented, you know, and, and want to help, want to make a difference in other people's lives. So I think there's a lot of -- I think there's a lot of openness and willingness for people to be able to do that.

Jim Collison 47:46

I spent this last week on a trip, and there's never a better time to think about your values and -- when you got hours and hours and hours in the car, and it was just me alone, which is, for a lot of people who know me would think that's pretty weird. Like, can you do that? Yes, I can. Apparently I can. At one point, I did a 16-hour drive. Dean, it was a really great opportunity to kind of think through, like, there were some uneasy moments during this, during this travel. And finding those, in those uneasy moments, capturing them for what they were and not fleeing from them, but really starting to say, Hey, what's making me uneasy at this point, right? Why am I uneasy? Instead of, in my younger days, I would have tried to flee to safety and security, of really having that conversation with myself like, OK, what's making me uncomfortable? And I spent some time, I called some friends, again, with this time in the car, hands-free conversation is awesome with people. Call some friends and said, "Hey, walk me through this thing. Let's talk about it."

Jim Collison 48:50

And it, and there was some, some values conflicts in there. It's just we're thinking about this now of like, I was butting up against some things that were like, boy, that doesn't really match up. And it gave me an opportunity to think through it. But I think you're, what you just said, I couldn't do it alone. Like I, as I was thinking about this, I wasn't making much progress until I called some friends and said, "Hey, here's what I'm thinking." And they, they began to dialogue with me on this over the course of the next day or two, even had a conversation about it today that was just super helpful. So I would echo what you just said: You can't, you can't do this alone. Right. I think you need to involve other people.

Dean Jones 49:30

Yeah. And to that point, Jim -- and this may be the big point of this podcast, right? -- is I think sometimes when we get in those situations where you're feeling dislocated, or you're a little uncomfortable, a little upset, we tend to go external, right? So we point to a circumstance or we point to a person or a situation or a lack of resources in a particular area. We're looking at stuff that's outside of us, right. And I think the place to go is internal; that's the place to go. And that's -- it, it may be more, it's easy to say, got it, "If that person wasn't such a jerk, I would be great." You know what I mean? Or "If only I had a different situation than this situation, things would be terrific," right?

Dean Jones 50:16

It's going internal and saying, "What is it about that that is making me uncomfortable? What is this about that and where am I, you know, what's the really at the core for me, what, what's the important thing that I want to be expressing around that?" Right? "Why is this important to me? What is that?" When you go internal, you get anchored there, you're not, you don't get tossed around by the circumstances as much. You're, you're anchored in a place where you have the freedom to choose the expression that you are, versus being reacting to the circumstances. And ultimately, you know, that's maturity, right? That's maturity. And that's what we, that's, that, and it gives you a place to stand that you -- even through a time of tremendous disruption like this, that you're able to, to really express the contribution that you are in a really meaningful way.

Jim Collison 51:10

Dean, let's wrap it on Dan's question here. By the way, Dan gets the award for best questions of the webcast. So, so Dan, nice job.

Dean Jones 51:17

Big trophy to Dan.

Jim Collison 51:18

Yeah, it's on its way. It's in the mail -- a virtual trophy! We coach that talent themes don't change much over time. What about values, and can they be changing on us? Dean?

Dean Jones 51:29

Yeah, the answer is, I don't know. Right? That's probably the best answer. I would tell you that I think that what happens with people, from my experience, right. And there's probably many of you that have an opinion about this. I think that what happens with people is their values get uncovered more and more over time; that you start to see what your core values are. And that you start to see what's, what, you, you know, sometimes people say, people say, "Gosh, you know, when I had a kid," or "when I had this life change, I really realized what was important to me." Right. But I think it's, it, that's really the clue is, it might have been just probably important all along. You just saw it expressed in that particular life event. And so I think it's less that values change or evolve so much over time. I think it's just that we're discovering at our core who we are, right, and, and, and what we want to express and, and how we, how we want to contribute in the world.

Jim Collison 52:30

I think that's a good way to wrap it, Dan, or Dean. Anything else you want to add before -- ?

Dean Jones 52:34

No, thanks. I appreciate being able to have this conversation today. I love talking about this. And, and I hope that -- I'm really interested in coaches, I'm interested in the feedback from coaches around this, right. So I think it's interesting, as you start to express this, I always love hearing from coaches, like How are they, how are they using this stuff to, to make a difference for themselves and, and the people that they're working with? So any -- feedback's always welcome. We love that.

Jim Collison 53:00

Appreciate that. If you do have that feedback, the easiest way -- and many of you are doing this -- send us an email: -- a great way to get, if you have any questions on anything, something doesn't look right, let us know. And we appreciate you sending that in. We'll remind you of all the great resources available now on Gallup Access. And so the easiest way to get to that: If you didn't know, that'll take you right to your Strengths Dashboard. Everything is available there. By the way, coaches, big question I've been getting lately is "Where'd all our learning go?" And so if you've attended one of our courses, and you've got the kits, we changed the name of that in Gallup Access. So if you go to the menu, drop that down, it's now "Learning Center," which I think makes more sense than -- I think we had "Courses and Workbooks" in there, something like that. So Learning Center is a great opportunity -- they're right there, log into Gallup Access, menu upper left-hand corner, drop it down, choose "Learning Center," and a lot of great resources available for you. We've actually been actually moving to -- a lot of the content that we've put on is moving into Access. So you don't even need to leave the platform; it's going to be available on search. So Theme Thursday, a lot of the stuff we've been producing, is going to be available there -- not just yet; I've given you a sneak preview. By the first of the year, a lot of that information will be available for you. If you haven't signed up yet, or if you want to have those you coach sign up for the CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter, it's available as well. Any of our pages, go to the bottom of the page, just give us your email address, we won't spam you. We'll send that to you every month. And that team does a great job of putting that together. Want to stay in the know? Want to have your folks stay in the know? Sign up for the CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter; love to have you as a part of that. If you want to join us on social go to That's kind of the "gateway drug" into the rest of Facebook, if you want to join us. Just stay in the groups. The rest of Facebook is questionable; our groups are fantastic, especially this time of year, right. It's kind of crazy. It's everything that's going on. If you want to join us in the LinkedIn group, just search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches" on LinkedIn. And, and ask for the invite. I will let you in there as well. We want to thank you for joining us today in this very important session here as we talk about strengths and values. And with that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Dean Jones' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Activator, Focus, Woo, Strategic and Relator.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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